Gene Elder at the GayBLT archives at the Bonham, November 2008
Gene Elder is a CurBlog hero.
You may remember Gene Elder from his very entertaining and informative Chartreuse Couch interview of City Council hopeful Chris Forbrich.
Or from his hilarious conceptual art correspondence with e-mail scammers.
You may know Gene from his arts-humor-politics e-mail list, too, or as a fellow-bruncher at Candlelight (if you're lucky), or as an art performer (his medium is wine) during openings at his friend Joan Grona's gallery at Blue Star.
Well, here he is again, opining with great wit and wisdom about the recent fracas involving the fundamentalist Christian organization Focus on the Family and their (thus far) thwarted attempts to buy ad space in the Express-News.
Read more about the FOTF/E-N fracas here.
And don't get me wrong--Focus on the Family and other organizations which seek to "reform" gays and lesbians, oppose equal marriage rights, and claim that God disapproves of certain kinds of families give me the heebies, but good. I'm not eager to see "ex-gays" touting their new Christ-given zeal for the correct naughty bits in the E-N. Nor am I wild about the fact that this organization is holding an "ex-gay seminar" here in SATX. "Reformed gay?" That's a "Big Love" subplot, honey, not any kinda way to live.
And, given Gene Elder's activism and his status as an out and proud gay man, I suspect he agrees with me there.
The following letter, which he sent to Robert Rivard and Bruce Davison at the Express-News, as well as to Chris Forbrich, to Sam Sanchez, and to the Current, makes clear that Gene Elder's commitment to free speech extends to everybody.
(Editorial note: the formatting stylistic flourishes--unerlinings, text color and such, are Gene Elder's. he's got a hell of an art piece as his signature, too, but as yet I am unable to duplicate it on our blog program).
Dear Express News editors and such:
Hello, str8 peeps (including myself): Gene Elder's ready to speak out for everyone's human rights.
Will you return the favor?
Kenneth Garrett, Gene Elder (in cowboy hat), Wade Strauch and two friends with the AIDS quilt in Washington, D.C. in 1987. Photo by Hap Veltman.